It's been a busy year for LBM as industry players large and small made a series of tactical moves to shift from survival to growth mode. We checked our archives and bookmarked year's most-read industry news stories. Here's what made the list:

  1. 84 Lumber’s move into installed sales hit a major road bump when a developer in western Maryland sued the LBM retailer over what he called “horrifically deficient and defective construction work.” A court deposition provided to ProSales suggests the problems may stem from 84’s poor of supervision subcontractors at the jobsite. Read more.
  2. This year’s ProSales 100 marked a change of pace for dealers nationwide as they collectively reported the highest sales since 2008. Read more.
  3. In its effort to create a module for local LBM retailing that’s workable nationwide, ProBuild realigned its chain of command. It also trimmed its corporate staff, refinanced its debt with a $505 million credit facility, and backed out of competitor 84 Lumber’s home turf during 2012.
  4. Dealers nationwide alleged that three Canadian distributors set up hefty lines of credit, placed big orders, and even received some shipments, only to skip out on payments. Those affected say it’s the most sophisticated LBM scam they’ve seen. Read more.
  5. The Home Depot announced plans to increase its efforts to serve the pros with a new website and improved shopping experience. But its new metrics for determining who qualifies as a pro—including when a purchase is made and what was purchased—open up the new services to smaller contractors and DIY customers. Read more
  6. One-step distributors and big-box retailers will grow at a faster rate than lumberyards and distributors through 2014—but not by much. Market research firm Principia reported that specialty dealers’ gross margin dollars will increase by 8% annually, big-boxes by 7%, and lumberyards and distributors by 6%. Read more
  7. Hurricane Sandy hit coastal New England head-on, slowing deliveries and forcing many dealers to operate without power and supplies while their customers waited anxiously for repair work to begin. Read more about how the dealer community was affected.
  8. Two former Stock Building Supply executives are looking to invest in LBM. Their new firm, Cornerstone Building Alliance, takes a majority ownership in investments while letting existing management control the reigns. Read more.
  9. Wood-product manufacturers, distributors, and dealers are waiting for each other to make the first move as industry projections call for a near-term demand increase. Why are they so reluctant to jump? A fear of another false start if the numbers are wrong, and of product shortages if they’re right. Read more.
  10. AZEK Building Products’ parent company bought composite decking and railing maker TimberTech, uniting two of the biggest synthetic decking product manufacturers and setting up a battle with Trex for dominant market share at pro yards. So far, company officials say it’s business as usual for the newly joined firms. Read more
  11. With Toronto-based investment firm Onex Corp. and new president Philip Orsino at the helm, Klamath Falls, Ore., window and door maker Jeld-Wen started the year with bold statements on adopting a new business model that focuses less on technology and more on the bottom line. Read more
  12. Builders FirstSource is grappling with a sharp increase in demand that’s forcing it to contend with a new set of troubles: truck-driver shortages, a  dearth of installed-sales workers, and the need to implement new technology to manage the new growth more efficiently. How they’re doing it.